Take your passion for history a step further and get a master’s degree.
Our graduate program gives you the opportunity to explore your favorite topics extensively. You can choose between a thesis option or a field of study option, both offering freedom to study what you’re most interested in. At Illinois State, we provide a challenging program that is flexible and diverse to fit your needs. In addition to some basic requirements, you are given the option to choose the courses that intrigue you the most.
You can make use of your degree in a variety of ways, whether you’re going into education, law, or public history. After completing our program, you’ll have the tools to take your career of choice to the next level.
Mastering in history helps advance your educational and professional development. Our faculty is known for specializing in a wide range of backgrounds, geographic areas, periods and sub-fields of history. While you explore various historical topics that interest you, you can also take courses outside of the history department to help develop your own unique credentials.
Discover what life as an Illinois State graduate student is like.
University Admission Requirements
A student applying to a master's program must:
- have earned a four-year bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a college or university that is accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting association, or do so within one academic year
- present unofficial transcripts from each college or university other than Illinois State at which graduate, undergraduate, or non-degree credit was earned. The unofficial transcript should be easily readable and clearly indicate degree(s) awarded, courses and course grades for each term. If accepted, official transcripts can be emailed from the university to GraduateAdmissions@IllinoisState.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to: Illinois State University, Graduate School, 209 Hovey Hall, Campus Box 4040, Normal, IL 61790-4040.
International students can learn more about specific application requirements by visiting the Office of Admissions.
Additional Program Admission Requirements
To be considered for this program, you must meet the following requirements.
Undergraduate Coursework and GPA
You must have an undergraduate degree in History or a related field. Your undergraduate cumulative GPA needs to be 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or higher.
Submit a personal a personal statement that includes:
- Why you want to pursue a graduate degree in History
- Your academic or life experiences that shaped your intellectual development
- Your particular areas of interest in the field of history
- What you hope to achieve or accomplish as a graduate student in history
Length: 250-500 words
Include a brief resume with your application.
Submit a sample of your writing, such as a research paper.
Length: 10-20 pages
Reference Contact Information
Submit names and email addresses of two references for letters of recommendation. References should be familiar with your academic work.
TOEFL Score (International Students Only)
International students must have a TOEFL score of at least 94 iBT or IELTS score of at least 7.0 band.
Our department does not require but does accept GRE scores. Use institutional code 1319 if you want to submit your GRE scores to Illinois State.
- Fall (August) Term — January 31
- Spring (January) Term — October 15
- Summer (May/June) Term — April 1
The University provides graduate assistantships on a competitive basis as a means of financial support. They are intended as a way to facilitate a student's progress to degree while providing important professional development.
To be eligible for an assistantship a student must, generally,
- be admitted unconditionally as a degree-seeking student into a graduate academic program, or have a minimum of 120 undergraduate hours if in an integrated degree program
- be enrolled full-time (typically at least 9 credit hours during the fall or spring semesters, or at least 6 hours during the summer session)
The History Department awards graduate assistantships based on the strength of a students' admissions application, including their undergraduate GPA, their letters of recommendation, and their writing sample. To maintain an assistantship, a student must remain in good academic standing.
Graduate assistants receive
- monthly wages paid in the form of either a stipend or an hourly wage
- a waiver for 100% of tuition during a semester of appointment
- a waiver for up to 12 credit hours of tuition for the summer term immediately following a fall or spring appointment
See Student Accounts for information on tuition and fees. Funding for graduate students is available from several different sources. Students who have been admitted from contiguous states including Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin will receive in-state tuition.